News

News

This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, September 29 - October 5, 2019

psalm62 1 2On this thirty-ninth Lord's Day of 2019, September 29, the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields may be noted.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “The scriptures we are to know are the holy scriptures; they come from the holy God, were delivered by holy men, contain holy precepts, treat of holy things, and were designed to make us holy and to lead us in the way of holiness to happiness; being called the holy scriptures, they are by this distinguished from profane writings of all sorts, and from those that only treat morality, and common justice and honesty, but do not meddle with holiness. If we would know the Holy Scriptures, we must read and search them daily, as the noble Bereans did” (Matthew Henry, Commentary on 2 Timothy, p. 846).

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • This past Friday (Sept.27) pastor-elect Jacob Maatman was ordained into the ministry of the Word and sacraments in the PRC and installed as Southeast PRC's new pastorIn that conection, we find this note about his first service: "The inaugural service led by Pastor-elect Maatman is scheduled for Sunday evening, September 29. The program committee is planning a small welcome program to follow the service, with dinner served afterward in the hallway. Please plan to come and stay for this joyful event, as we welcome Pastor-elect Maatman, Rachel, and their children into our congregational life and fellowship."

  • This past week at the meeting of Classis West in Calvary PRC, Hull-IA, pastor-elect M. Kortus sustained his examination and the Consistory of Hope PRC (Redlands, CA) was instructed to proceed to his ordination and installation. This will take place, Lord willing, on Sunday, Oct.6. We rejoice in God's gracious gift of another minister of the Word in the PRC. May the Lord continue to prepare and equip this brother for his labors as a servant of Jesus Christ and His church.

  • On September 22 Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) extended a call to Rev. R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace, Spokane). We remember him in prayer as he weighs this call.

  • The Council of Grandville PRC announces a new trio for calling a minister on loan to labor in Covenant ERC in Singapore: "Revs. Garrett Eriks (Hudsonville PRC), Rodney Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC) and Jon Mahtani (Cornerstone PRC). The congregational meeting is scheduled for Oct 6 following the evening service."

  • Rev. T. Miersma is leading the worship services at Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) again today.
  • Rev. A. Spriensma (PRC home missionary) is leading the worship services of the daughter group of Byron Center PRC today. They are currently meeting at Zion Christian School (Byron Center Ave & 76th St.).
  • Georgetown PRC is celebrating her 25th anniversary this year. This note is found in her bulletin about that upcoming celebration: "25th Anniversary and Church Picnic is planned for Saturday, October 26.  Join us for breakfast at Heritage Christian School! Our theme is, “Thanking God For Our Treasured Heritage”. The following Sunday, we will have special sermons by Rev. R. VanOverloop for our morning service and Rev. Haak for our evening service on Psalm 16: 5,6 and 8,9. Please plan to attend as we have so much to be thankful for!"
  • Pictures taken at the recent Seniors' Retreat in Gull Lake, MI may be found in a pdf accessed by registered users on the PRC bulletin page. Thanks to Phil Harbach for providing these. 

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

MKortus CW diploma Sept25 19

*Pastor-elect Kortus (with his wife, Sarah) receiving his classical diploma and congratulations from Rev. R. Barnhill, president of Classis.

Classis West: Classis West met this past week at Calvary PRC in Hull, IA. It will reconvene in early November to finish its work. For the full, official report of the stated clerk, visit this special news page on this meeting.

Contact Commitee:  Revs. C. Griess and C. Spronk along with their wives, and Pete Vander Schaaf and his wife, will be visiting the BERG in Giessen, Germany on behalf of the Contact Committee of our PRC.  They will be gone from September 30 (tomorrow) to October 14.

JHelms devotions 2019 2 2
Sem. Jeremy Helms leading the mid-day devotions at seminary a week ago.

PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary is now entering its sixth week of the first semester in the new school year, and both faculty and students are busy with their tasks of teaching and studying. Some of the students and most of the professors also teach catechism and lead Bible studies in the West Michigan area. The first practice preaching session is only a week away, as Josiah T. and Marcus W. will deliver their first sermons of the new term. Pray for them and for the staff as they busy themselves in these kingdom labors. The schedule for the first semester has been posted on the seminary's website. If you are interested in visiting, please contact the seminary.

  • On Sept.4 Rev. B. Huizinga was installed as the new professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament Studies during a worship service at Grandville PRC. Prof. Huizinga has begun work on his advanced degree (ThM) at Calvin Theological Seminary while also taking some classes at Puritan Refomred Seminary. Our other new professor, Douglas Kuiper, has begun giving instruction for the first time this semester, teaching the pre-seminary Greek grammar course, as well as Hermeneutics and a new Research and Methodology course.

  • Looking for some good Reformed books to read, Bible study materials or seminary publications to use? Come and visit the seminary's bookstore! We have a variety of Bibles, commentaries, and good books - used and new - for our members and friends.

  • Need for Ministers: Synod 2019 took a decision to place the urgent need for seminary students before our churches. Nine of our 39 active ministers are 63 years of age and older. The next prospect for seminary graduates in our churches is not for another four years. Then those nine ministers will be 67 and older. Please remember in your prayers to petition the Lord of the harvest for pastors, and please encourage young men, whom you observe to have the gifts, to consider the ministry.

  • The finishing touches are being put on the seminary addition and library renovation projects (new archives and offices). The new glass barrier was installed in the library this past week and the second shipment of library furniture is due on Monday. As part of regular building maintenance, new windows were also installed this past week in the professors' offices. In the archives room the special flooring and shelving was installed this past week (see the final look below). Please feel free to stop by and see the new look - the library is truly beautiful and the new archives storage is exciting!
  • Be sure to visit the new PRC seminary website! Visit the site and check out the various pages, including the new blog - and sign up to receive seminary news by email! The library is also online there (under Resources). If you are looking for a particular book to read or use, or just want to browse, visit the library page.

archives shelving sept 2019 1
New storage shelving (Space-Saver) in the new PRC archives room at the seminary, now off the main floor library

CPRC News Header
*Learn about the latest issue of "Covenant Reformed News" (below)

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following:
    • Rev. A. denHartog and his wife returned to the CERC this past week. Concerning that, her bulletin today states: "Today we welcome Pastor Den Hartog and Sherry to worship with us once again. We thank God for bringing them back safely. Pastor Den Hartog and Sherry will be with us till the end of this November. We are grateful to them and thankful to God for their sacrificial love towards His people."
    • Also, her bulletin has this fitting note concerning the calling of a new minister on loan: "The Council of Grandville, PRC has formed a trio comprising Revs Garrett Eriks, Rodney Kleyn and Jonathan Mahtani on 19 Sep. Grandville PRC plans to hold a congregational meeting after the evening service on 6 Oct to vote for the MOL to Singapore. Let us continue to pray and wait patiently for the Lord's choosing of His servant to be sent to CERC."
    • Her latest newsletter (August 2019) - Reformed News Asia - was posted recently posted and may be found on this page.
  • Concerning the PRC in the Philippines, we may note the following from the bulletins of the Berean PRC, PRC in Bulacan, Maranatha PRC, and Provident CC:
    • Maranatha PRC: Rev. L. Trinidad, our Pastor will lead us in both services. He will continue the teaching of the Revelation.
    • Provident CC: "Rev. Holstege will preach both times for PPRC today and next Sunday, Lord willing." And this note too: "The Adults Society will meet today at 2:00 to continue studying the book of James. A big thanks to the society for organizing the recent evangelism conference! “Ye shine as lights in the world, holding forth the word of life…” (Phil. 2:15-16)."
    • And for more on the life and work of our "sisters" in the Far East read the news under Philippine missions (bulletins).
  • The PRC also has a "corresponding relationship" with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) of Australia. We remember these brothers and sisters in our prayers and labors also.

rfpa 04
Looking for Bible study resources or a good book to read this Fall? Visit the RFPA Bookstore in Jenison, MI.

If you missed the speech at the annual RFPA meeting this past week, visit this link to watch Rev. J. Smidstra's fine talk on "Training Our Children in the Discipline of Reading."

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • If you are in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing, visit the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.

  • Looking for a study Bible or Bible study resources this Fall? Visit the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville! From the RBO Fall newsletter: September 25% off Sale! 25% off most Bibles, books, and Bible covers! Stop in and check out the clearance table, where items are available for $2 and restocked with different books each month!

  • Do you have an interest in good Reformed literature and a solid Reformed and biblical magazine? Visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association's website (www.rfpa.org), where you will find information on books in all major Christian categories, as well as on the bi-monthly periodical, the Standard Bearer. If you missed the speech at the annual RFPA meeting this past week, visit this link to watch Rev. J. Smidstra's fine talk on "Training Our Children in the Discipline of Reading."

  • You can now listen to the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dordt on audio! Visit the links provided to hear the Catechism, the Confession, and the Canons. It's another excellent way to learn the Reformed faith and memorize these Reformed creeds.

RWH Logo 2019

  • Remember to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are!
    • For the rest of September the RWH is featuring some "classics" of Rev. C. Haak. Today's message is "The True Christian Life" based on 2 Timothy 4:7,8 (or visit the RWH website linked here to listen anytime).
    • From the Reformed Witness Hour Committee:

      Have you signed up yet to receive the emailed Reformed Witness Hour (RWH) newsletter? Six times per year, we update you on news about our speakers, program, and online reach, and we share stories from listeners and readers who have been blessed by the RWH, a ministry of the PRC. Please visit http://eepurl.com/gikNsL to sign up for the newsletter.

    • A new Spanish edition of the RWH has been produced and may be found on this YouTube channel (PRC Espanol). Why not check it out - and help spread the word!

 adult bible 1
Are you active in participating in your church's young people and young adult Bible study groups?

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • The 2019 PRYP's Convention is now history (held Aug.12-16 at Michindoh Conference Center in Hillsdale, MI.). Southwest and Providence PRCs hosted this year's event. For pictures and more visit this YouTube channel or the Facebook page. The 2020 PRYP's Convention will be hosted by Georgetown PRC and held at Lake Williamson Christian Center (St. Louis, MO).
  • THE EVANGELICAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF AUSTRALIA would love to invite any young people and young adults, aged 13 and up, to their biennial youth camp. This youth camp will be held in Brisbane, Australia from the 28th of December 2019 – 3rd January 2020. Rev. Martyn McGeown from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship of the Republic of Ireland will be our guest speaker, taking the camp on the topic of ‘The Christian’s Armour’ (From Ephesians 6). Amongst other activities, the theme night will be on the “Australian Bush”. The cost for the camp is $250 AUD (approx $170 USD). This is a great time to meet other young people, fellowship with them and learn about our Saviour. Please contact Megan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the full flyer + registration form, or for any additional questions/information.

  • The latest young peoples' magazine of Covenant ERC in Singapore, Salt Shakers, was received and posted (August 2019 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.

Reformed Free Church Negros Sept 2019 2
*Reformed Free Church in S. Negros where Rev. D. Kleyn recently led in worship and preached

PRC MISSION NEWS:

Domestic Labors:

  • Remember in prayer our home missionary, Rev. A. Spriensma, who continues to labor in the West Michigan area and beyond through Byron Center PRC, the calling church. From BC-PRC's bulletin today we find these notes:
    • Pastor Spriensma is filling the pulpit for the daughter group of BC-PRC today (meeting at Zion Christian School).
  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. M. McGeown is preaching today and will lead the Bible study Tuesday 8 PM in Corbally.
    • A fresh mission newsletter was published this week from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship. The September 2019 edition may be found here.

Philippine Missions:

  • *From the latest post of Mrs. Sharon Kleyn, we find this note about their recent trip to Sipalay (Sept.14-16):
    For many years now, the missionaries have been traveling to the city of Sipalay on the Island of Negros to hold classes with a number of pastors and elders in that area who are interested in the Reformed truth.  Now, with three missionaries present, they are hoping to expand this work by going on the weekends and speaking/preaching/teaching in the churches there in addition to continuing the classes for the pastors and elders. 
    This past Saturday, September 14, Rev. Kleyn and I flew into Bacolod City and drove the 3-4 hour trip south to Sipalay.  Along the way we stopped to check in with two of the pastors, Pastor Rosal and Pastor Donasco.  They assured us that they were planning on us on the following day (Sunday), and specific times and arrangements were made.
    Sunday morning we left Sipalay around 8:15 for the half hour trip back north to the Reformed Free Church in Inayauan where Pastor Rosal is the pastor.  This church has already been following the order of worship we are used to and has used the Psalter for many years.  They also are organized with elders and deacons.
    Rev. Kleyn first led the adult Sunday School class, speaking, at their request, on Lord’s Day 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism.
     After the Sunday School class, Pastor Rosal (standing on the right) made a few announcements, and then the worship service began.  Rev. Kleyn led the whole service and preached on Unconditional Election from Deuteronomy 7:6-8.  There was much appreciation expressed for the sermon.  Because they came out of Arminianism and still have many friends and family in the Arminian churches, the doctrines of grace are very relevant for the members.  They love to hear of them and discuss the related issues and Bible verses.

  • The last Philippines mission newsletter was received and posted in July 2019 and may be found on this PRC webpage.
  • For more on life and activities in the Philippines from the personal perspective of the missionary's, visit the Kleyn's blog, the Holstege's, and the Smits!

Let us continue in prayer to the Lord for the fulfillment of the needs of these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace to be faithful and encouraged in all their labors.

India:

Myanmar:

  • Let us also remember Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) support of and involvement with Rev. Titus' work in Myanmar; for his latest report, visit this page.
Read more...

Covenant Reformed News - September 2019

Covenant Reformed News


September 2019 • Volume XVII, Issue 17



Christ’s Triumph Over the Demonic Powers (1)

Many people earnestly seek victory and go to great lengths to avoid defeat. In sport, this involves intense training and careful planning. Modern warfare is carried out with high-powered plotting and expensive technology. Think of all the frantic effort and skilful marketing that goes into political elections!

The Christian too is vitally interested in victory or triumph, and pained and left desolate by loss. We seek victory over sin, the flesh, the world and the devil. Sadly, in our lives, we too often transgress, and experience the shame and misery of defeat.

Colossians 2:14-15 proclaims the great victory of our Saviour and the triumph of His cross. It describes Christ’s work as that of “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”

In some places in Scripture, “principalities” and “powers” (15) are used of civil rulers (Rom. 13:1-3; Titus 3:1). Usually, they refer to ranks of angels, as in Ephesians 3:10, where “the principalities and powers in heavenly places” marvel at God’s “manifold wisdom.” Speaking of our Lord Jesus, Colossians 1:16 declares that “all things were created by him, and for him,” both “in heaven” and “in earth,” whether “visible” or “invisible” (to us currently), including the angels: “thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers.” Christ is “the head of all principality and power” (2:10) or, more simply, “angels” (18).

Colossians 2 speaks of a cosmic battle between Jesus Christ and the demonic powers (15), headed by Satan, at the cross (14). This cosmic battle is presented in terms taken from human warfare and military victory, especially Roman triumph.

Let us follow the progress of the battle in Colossians 2:15. First, and presupposed in this verse, is victory in the conflict itself. Our Saviour defeated the demonic hordes at the cross conclusively and decisively.

Second, there is the disarming of the conquered enemy. An earthly example of this is recorded in I Samuel 31, where the Philistines defeated the Israelites on Mount Gilboa, and proceeded to strip the slain and take their armour. At the cross, Christ “spoiled” (Col. 2:15) or disarmed Satan and his demons of their weapons.

Third, and this is an especially Roman feature, there is the triumphal procession. The leading survivor of the forces defeated by the Romans would be kept alive. He and his men would be transported to the imperial capital. Leading the victory parade through its thronged streets would be the Roman general in his war chariot. Behind him would come the leader of the conquered army and his wretched men in chains, with the Roman crowds cheering wildly.

Colossians 2:15 declares that our Redeemer “made a shew of [the fallen angels] openly, triumphing over them.” In other words, Jesus Christ so routed the demonic hosts at the cross that He made a public spectacle of them in His triumph! Rev. Stewart

 

The Idea of the Organic in Scripture (2)

I have, over the years, received many questions that deal with Bible texts supposedly teaching the well-meant and gracious offer of the gospel. As I said in my last article, the problem is often that people do not take into consideration nor understand that God deals with mankind “organically.” Since I wrote the first article, I received two letters dealing with matters that concern the truth of God’s organic dealings with man. I will address the Scripture verses that they cite as evidence of how important it is to know and understand the organic dealings of God with the world He has created.

(1) The first text contains words Jesus uttered concerning Jerusalem: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!” (Luke 13:34; Matt. 23:37).

The relation here to the reality of organisms is the important relationship of the family. Parents, the God-appointed leaders of the family, are responsible for their children and for their conduct. What parents do and how they conduct themselves have implications for their children.

Bearing that in mind, one can easily understand that the text does not even begin to say that, though Christ wanted to gather the wicked Jews under His wings, they refused. Hence, so men argue, men thwart Jesus’ will. His desire is not realized because of the wickedness of the Jews.

But the text does not say that. The wicked Jewish leaders, especially “the Pharisees” (Luke 13:31), are not the ones whom Jesus desires to save but their “children.” This desire was not wholly realized in Jesus’ earthly ministry. It was not carried out because the wicked Jews not only rejected His ministry but they refused to permit their children to be gathered by Christ. They opposed Jesus with such bitter hatred that they also did all that they could to stop their children from following Christ.

Yet there is another “organism” referred to here. It is the organism of the Jewish nation as a whole, called, as it often is in Scripture, “Jerusalem.” The entire nation named after its capital city. Jerusalem was the centre of the nation politically and spiritually, for there was the throne of David and the temple in which God dwelt with His people. The Jewish nation as a whole is called “Jerusalem” (as America is sometimes referred to as Washington DC or the UK as London). The nation as a whole had wickedly rejected Christ. That is why the nation was destroyed in AD 70, when Jerusalem was demolished by the Roman armies under Titus.

Parents, for example, who will not worship in a sound church on the Lord’s day commit a grave sin. But if they refuse to allow their children to go to church (perhaps with a grandmother or grandfather) their sin is multiplied. The same is true of churches and nations, such as America or those in Europe, that forsake the gospel. The church or nation as a whole is forsaken by God and terrible judgments await it.

Yet in them now are people of God, as there were in the nation of Israel, and these people are saved. They are a part of the organism but they are elect. The organism of the fig tree of Israel (which Jesus cursed), though dead, still had some living branches.

Those are “thy children” referred to in Luke 13:34. Jesus desired to save them, though the nation was doomed to destruction. Moreover, He not only wanted to save them; He did save them. After Pentecost, thousands of Jerusalem’s children were saved (Acts 2:41; 4:4). Before the destruction of Israel, God took His people out of the nation, as He took Lot and his daughters out of the homosexual Sodom and Gomorrah before He rained fire and brimstone on them (Gen. 19:1-26)—as God will do also when the elect are taken out of wicked Europe and N. America.

There is not even a hint in the text that can support so God-degrading a heresy as the bizarre notion of the well-meant offer of the gospel, a weak and ineffectual desire of the Almighty and unchangeable Jehovah to save those whom He has eternally reprobated!

For more, see “Quotes on Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34.”

(2) Another text is Matthew 11:21: “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.”

First of all, Chorazin and Bethsaida were two cities in Israel, which here represent the entire nation, even though there were elect in both cities and in the nation. The cities are organisms as cities, and the cities in the nation represent the entire nation. The nation and its cities had rejected Christ: “He came unto his own, and his own received him not” (John 1:11).

Second, the same is true of Tyre and Sidon. As the two chief cities in Phoenicia, they represented the entire nation. (Whether there were elect in those cities or not, we do not know, although in Israel’s history occasional references are made to believers there, such as the widow with whom Elijah stayed in I Kings 17:8-24 and the lady whose daughter Jesus healed in Matthew 15:21-28. Isaiah 23 pronounces God’s judgments on Tyre but it also contains a promise of salvation in verse 18.) But, as nations, the Phoenicians had not had the gospel and so could not reject it.

Third, the sin of Israel was, therefore, far greater than the sin of Tyre and Sidon. This is Jesus’ point. Never to have had the gospel and to live in sin is not nearly as dreadful a sin as having had Christ in one’s land, seeing Him, beholding His miracles and hearing His preaching, yet rejecting Him. Yet not only would the Jews not believe in the Messiah but they killed Him for who He was. That is Europe and America today! And this was true and is true always.

(3) John 3:16, the favourite text of the Arminians, also speaks of the whole creation as the “world.” God created the entire creation as an organism: the heavens and their heavenly bodies, the earth and all its contents, and the human race in Adam. As man is finding out more and more, the whole creation is intimately related so that no part of it exists independently from any other part. Further, man was created as the head of the creation and what he does in relation to God affects the whole. When Adam fell, the curse of God came on all the creation.

That creation God loves. His love is revealed in making His own Son the new head of the creation, which head redeems it by delivering it from the curse. That is the organism of John 3:16. Well, as that final organism is formed by God, the dead and useless parts of it are pruned away. That is, the devils (for even the heavenly creation and its inhabitants will belong to the new creation with Christ at its head) and reprobate humans will be pruned away and destroyed forever. But the organism will be saved and the elect people in it will be saved as believers who belong to Christ, the head of all.

For more on John 3:16, ask us for the free pamphlet, “God So Loved the World (John 3:16),” by Prof. Homer C. Hoeksema or read it on-line.

(4) One more text was sent to me, the answer to which is dependent on the sovereign God’s organic dealings with men. What about the destruction of forty-two youths by two she bears in response to Elisha’s cursing them for mocking him as God’s prophet (II Kings 2:23-24)? This occurred in Bethel, the location of the major shrine for one of the two golden calves (I Kings 12:26-13:32). It seemed to my correspondent (and others) that no prophet would ever do that.

The answer to this question is that the family is created by God as an organic unity. This is why the second commandment of the Decalogue says that God visits “the iniquity of the fathers upon the children” (Ex. 20:5).

For example, a man leaves a faithful church and takes his children with him to a false or departing church. Then his children eventually quit going to church at all, and are lost in unbelief and worldliness. The head of a home cannot live unrepentant in sin without it having consequences for his whole family. A drunkard’s sins destroy his family. It is like the root of a tree being killed with the whole tree dying.

Israel had forsaken the worship of God and turned to idols. The Lord is showing Israel that their terrible sin will result in the spiritual death of their children. This happened as well. Although in Elijah’s day there were still 7,000 who did not bow knee to Baal, in Hezekiah’s day the few remaining worshippers of God in the Northern Kingdom were called out of the nation and the nation, with its children, was destroyed. Prof. Hanko


Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: https://cprc.co.uk/ • Live broadcast: cprc.co.uk/live-streaming/
Pastor: Angus Stewart, 7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland, BT42 3NR • (028) 25 891851  
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.www.youtube.com/cprcniwww.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
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South Wales Lecture

Thursday,
10 October, 2019
 7:15 PM


Speaker:
Rev. Martyn McGeown

(pastor of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship, Rep. of Ireland)

Subject:
The Development of God’s Covenant (7): Joseph and the Bondage in Egypt

So far we have traced God’s covenant in six speeches from Adam to Jacob. In our seventh lecture, we continue that development with Joseph, who was instrumental in bringing Jacob’s descendants into Egypt, whence centuries later they would be delivered. Come to hear about God’s grace and faithfulness with respect to this fascinating subject. 


Margam Community Centre
Bertha Road, Margam, Port Talbot, SA13 2AP 

Book Table (including DVDs, CDs & free pamphlets) 
Coffee & tea provided afterward

www.cprc.co.uk

cprc.co.uk/south-wales-lectures


Reformation Day
Lecture


William Tyndale: 
English Bible Translator


William Tyndale (c. 1494-1536) was a great English preacher, Bible translator, theologian, Reformer and martyr. Born in Gloucestershire, studied at Oxford University, and pursued by his enemies through Germany and the Lowlands, Tyndale was burned at the stake near Brussels for the truth of God’s Word.

Speaker:
Rev. Angus Stewart


Date:
Friday, 25 October
 
7:30 PM

Venue: 
Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence St. 
Ballymena BT43 5DR

Books, CDs and DVDs available at the lecture
Coffee and tea provided after the lecture

All are invited! 
www.cprc.co.uk
 

Unfolding Covenant History

Homer C. Hoeksema &
David J. Engelsma
 

Unfolding Covenant History is an exposition of the Old Testament from a covenantal perspective. Volumes 1-4 by Prof. Homer C. Hoeksema cover Creation to the Conquest of Canaan. Volume 5 by Prof. David J. Engelsma treats Judges & Ruth. These volumes contain solid, satisfying interpretation of Old Testament history; exalt God’s glorious, sovereign grace; and demonstrate that Jehovah’s covenant is the unifying principle of Old Testament history and of the very gospel itself. Order individually or save over £5 by ordering all five.

Volume 1: From Creation to the Flood - Hardback, 367 pp., £19.80 (inc. P&P)
   Volume 2: From the Flood to Isaac - Hardback, 327 pp., £19.80 (inc. P&P)
    Volume 3: From Jacob to the Exodus - Hardback, 325 pp., £19.80 (inc. P&P)
   Volume 4: Through the Wilderness Into Canaan - Hdbk, 394 pp., £19.80 (inc. P&P)
  Volume 5: Judges & Ruth - Hardback, 213 pp.,
£16.50 (inc. P&P)
  ALL FIVE VOLUMES for the special price of £90.00 (inc. P&P)


Order from the 
CPRC Bookstore
by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells,
N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!


Rome’s Sacrifice of the Mass

11 classes on Belgic Confession 35
(Vol. XXX) on CD in
an attractive box set 


Eye-opening doctrine classes explaining the false doctrine of the mass, especially as taught at Rome’s Council of Trent (1545-1563), as opposed to God’s grace in Christ and His cross alone!

(1) Introducing the Mass
(Heb. 9:13-10:4)
(2) The “Sacrifice” of the Mass
(Heb. 7:11-28)
(3) The “Beneficiaries” of the Mass
(I Pet. 1:17-25)
(4) The Offering and Offerers of the Mass (Heb. 9:11-14)
(5) “Christ Alone” Versus the Mass (John 19:19-30)
(6) Christ’s “Once and for All” Sacrifice (Heb. 9:24-10:4)
(7) The Mass and the 5 Solas
(Eph. 2:1-10)
(8) Trent on the Institution of
the Mass (1) (Heb. 7:11-28)
(9) Trent on the Institution of
the Mass (2) (Mal. 1)
(10) Trent’s Second Chapter
on the Mass (Heb. 1)
(11) Trent’s Remaining Chapters
on the Mass (Ps. 26:6-12)

£10/box set (inc. P&P)

Listen free on-line
or order from the 
CPRC Bookstore
by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells,
N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!
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Limerick Reformed Fellowship Newsletter - September 2019

Limerickmeetingplace

Limerick Reformed Fellowship

Rev. Martyn McGeown, missionary
38 Abbeyvale, Corbally Co. Limerick, Ireland
http://www.limerickreformed.com/
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,

Life on the mission field brings disappointments as well as joys. One young man (“Catholic seeking alternative”), whom I mentioned in an earlier newsletter, has returned to Roman Catholicism more convinced than ever that the Roman Church is the one true church. If you recall, he emailed me on August 17, 2018, and I met with him shortly thereafter. He seemed to be enthusiastic about the Reformed faith for a while, but, sadly, his enthusiasm did not last. On July 30 he messaged me that he needed “a break from the church.” When I questioned him (we corresponded electronically—young people seem to prefer that, although I requested a face-to-face meeting), he explained that he needed time to study in order to determine which is the “true church.” I asked him how he planned to do that, to which he responded that he was reading the Church Fathers. After a few days, during which time he still declined to meet with me, he declared, “Pastor, I have decided to return to the Catholic Church,” whereupon he texted a few of the members of the LRF to inform them.

My young friend, whose name I will not mention (those of you who have visited in the last year will undoubtedly have met him), claims that since the “table of contents” of the Bible is a “manmade tradition” and since the Church of Rome (supposedly) determined which books belong in the Bible, that church, built upon Peter, must have the truth. He also claims that the early Church Fathers taught the “real presence” of Christ in the sacrament, which we Reformed supposedly reject. Of course, no one could possibly master the Church Fathers in a few weeks, so he has taken a few quotes out of context to justify his actions. For one thing, we Reformed do believe in the “real pres-ence,” but we reject a real, physical, material presence of Christ’s body and blood. The Belgic Confession even speaks of “the proper and natural body and the proper blood of Christ” (Art. 35). Unfortunately, due to illness, family problems, and other issues, my friend missed most of my sermons on the sacraments (LD 26-30).

Sadly, my attempts to reason with my friend from the Scriptures have fallen on deaf ears. On September 8, supposedly the birthday of the Virgin Mary, my friend posted a video on Facebook with the comment, “Beautiful Mass and homily today.” The video was two hours long, but he provided the timestamp for the “homily,” which I watched: it was 9 minutes long; it was in honour (supposedly) of the “Blessed Virgin”; and it contained the line that sufferings are sent “to permit us to make reparations for our past sins.” That someone can be present for approximately fifty Reformed sermons and then return to the emptiness and superstition of Rome is unfathomable to me! (Of course, it happened before: in 2013 a longstanding member who had listened to years of Reformed sermons returned to the Roman Church; this young man was a lot less educated in the Reformed faith, although he had been given plenty of material to read).

In response to this young man’s departure I have been preaching texts related to the authority of Scripture, tradition, and the church: II Thessalonians 2:15; Matthew 18:16; Luke 10:16; John 21:15-19; and I Timothy 3:15. I am also considering a speech on the Canon of Scripture to answer the Roman canard that she (the Roman Church) determined the Canon and, therefore, she has supreme authority over the meaning of Scripture.

Another disappointment concerned a family from Brazil. The wife of the family emailed me in February to inform me of their plans to move from Portugal to Ireland, where the husband had a job offer to work in Limerick. They were excited, they said, to find a Reformed church because they had belonged to a Presbyterian Church in Brazil and were dissatisfied with the Baptist Church that they attended in Portugal. (Europeans are often disappointed: good churches or fellowships are few and far between). The LRF were excited to welcome them, a married couple with a twelve year old son—think of the possibilities for a small group such as ours—but they only attended our services for two weeks. On their second Sunday, they began asking questions about the Lord’s Supper: when do we have it and could they partake? On discovering that we do not have the Lord’s Supper on the mission field and that we would, if we had it, practice close communion, they informed me—again by email—that they would be looking for another church. The last that I heard they were attending a Baptist Church in Limerick. This is a very unpresbyterian reaction: in Presbyterian/Reformed churches the preaching of the gospel—not the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper—is the chief means of grace. If one has the former, then one should patiently wait upon the Lord by supporting a Reformed Fellowship until God is pleased to grant the latter. Instead, such people abandon solid, biblical, Re-formed preaching for weaker evangelical preaching so that they can have the Supper in a church that usually practices open communion to the detriment of their spiritual life and that of their children.

Despite those two setbacks the core group remains unified and enthusiastic about the Reformed Faith. I recently finished a series of twenty-six sermons (December 9, 2018 through August 25, 2019) on John 14-16, which is a very profound and fascinating portion of God’s Word. I also began my sixth time through the Heidelberg Catechism on September 1. Our Bible study continued through the summer (and when I was at Synod in June, Rev. Smidstra kindly led it for me): we have been studying Peter’s two epistles, and are about halfway through II Peter 2. Catechism for the children also recommenced in September, which is always enjoyable. I teach Sebastian, Penelope, and Jason (New Testament History for Beginners) on Wednesdays; and my nieces, Anna, Lily, and Hope, via Google hangout (New Testament History for Beginners, New Testament History for Juniors, and Old Testament History for Seniors) on Thursdays. In addition, I teach an Essentials of Reformed Doctrine class on Saturdays, and we usually, weather permitting, spend a few hours at our “witness table” on Saturday afternoons, displaying tracts, engaging passers-by in conversation, and offering literature. We compete with other groups: Jehovah’s Witnesses, Climate Change Activists, buskers, and public reciters of the rosary!

We have also enjoyed visitors: Rev. and Pat Koole and Peter and Dorothy VanDerSchaaf (January 2019); Rev. and Kelly Smidstra (June 2019); a group of young people (Andrew and Briana Prins [Trinity PRC], Faith Bleyenberg and Kara Lubbers [Byron Center PRC], Taylor Doezema [Faith PRC], Sara Langerak [Hope PRC], and Melissa VanBaren [First PRC] in June 2019); Rev. and Nancy Key (July 2019); and Timothy Spence (CPRC in August 2019).

“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not, but have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God” (II Cor. 4:1-2).

In Christian love,

Rev. Martyn and Larisa McGeown

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News from Classis West - Sept.25-27, 2019 & November 5, 2019 **(Updated)

Calvary Hull 2019

Classis West met today (Sept.25) in Calvary PRC in Hull, IA. The focus of Wednesday's work was the examination of pastor-elect Matt Kortus, whom Hope PRC (Redlands, CA) has called.

CW Sept25 19 officers
Classiscal officers - Rev. R. Barnhill (left - president) and Rev. S. Regnerus (right - clerk)

Last evening during a call to worship at Calvary PRC, pastor-elect Kortus delivered his sermon specimen, which was approved, and thus, the classical examination proceeded on Wednesday.

MKortus exam CW Sept2519 1
Pastor-elect M. Kortus being examined in Reformed doctrine and practice.

By the strengthening grace of God, pastor-elect Kortus sustained his examination and was approved for ordination, with Hope PRC being instructed to proceed with that. That will take place, Lord willing, on Sunday, October 6, with Rev. N. Decker officiating.

MKortus CW diploma Sept25 19
Pastor-elect Kortus (with his wife, Sarah) receiving his classical diploma and congratulations from Rev. R. Barnhill, president of Classis.

CW exam congrats 1
Pastor-elect Kortus and his wife Sarah being congratulated by delegates of Classis.

 We rejoice with the brother and his family, as well as with Hope PRC in God's good provision. May the Lord now give abundant grace as  he prepares to take up his labors in the gospel ministry.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The following is the official, public report of this meeting of classis provided by the stated clerk: (also attached in pdf form)

News Report of Classis West of the PRCA

Meeting September 25-27, 2019

Classis West of the Protestant Reformed Churches met from September 25-27, 2019, in Calvary PRC (Hull, IA). The meeting was capably chaired by Rev. Ryan Barnhill (pastor of Peace PRC), who was serving in this capacity for the first time in his ministry.

Noticeably absent from the meeting was one of the elder delegates from Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB), who remained home to support a family in the congregation whose teenage son had recently died in an automobile accident.

The night before Classis convened, the delegates gathered with the Calvary congregation to worship God and to hear the specimen sermon of Mr. Matt Kortus, pastor-elect of Hope PRC (Redlands, CA). He preached on Philippians 4:6-7 and displayed clearly the gifts that God has entrusted to him for the proclamation of the gospel.

The following day was largely taken up by the joyful work of examining Mr. Kortus. Throughout the exam he gave a good account of the intellectual and spiritual gifts necessary for the ministry. Classis unanimously approved his examination, and the synodical deputies from Classis East heartily concurred. The brother plans to be ordained and installed into the ministry on October 6, with Rev. Nate Decker (pastor of Grandville PRC) officiating. We give thanks to the Lord of the harvest for supplying another faithful laborer.

In closed session, a consistory sought the advice of Classis to proceed with the erasure of a baptized member. After hearing of the individual’s impenitence and the labors of the consistory to this point, Classis took the sad decision to advise the consistory to proceed with erasure.

Also in closed session, Classis treated an appeal from an individual regarding the discipline work of a consistory. Classis ruled the appeal not legally before it.

Classis also had before it four protests against decisions taken at its March meeting in closed session. After much deliberation, Classis decided not to sustain the protests in several matters and to sustain them in certain other matters.

Following a question that arose with the report of the stated clerk, Classis approved a number of guidelines that the stated clerk can follow when he receives requests for confidential material from an individual who is not an officebearer.

Classis adopted a pulpit supply schedule for Immanuel PRC: Rev. Engelsma (November 10 and 17), Rev. Barnhill (December 8 and 15), Rev. Guichelaar (January 5 and 12), Rev. Laning (January 26 and February 2), Rev. N. Langerak (February 23 and March 1), and Rev. J. Langerak (March 15 and 22). Classis also adopted a pulpit supply schedule for First Edmonton PRC: Rev. Lee (October 20 and 27), Rev. Regnerus (November 10 and 17), Rev. Kortus (December 8 and 15), Rev. R. Kleyn (January 5 and 12), Rev. De Boer (January 26 and February 2), Rev. Key (February 23 and March 1), and Rev. Brummel (March 15 and 22).

Classis sustained the protests of five protestants with regard to their objections to Classis’ decisions in March 2019 and declared those decisions to be in error. The decisions which were declared to be in error were 1) to sustain an appeal against a consistory’s decision to read an apology in response to the member’s protest of Rev. Marcus’ preaching concerning providence, and 2) to advise the consistory to proceed to his suspension. Classis did so with the following grounds:

      1. Although Rev. Marcus’ teaching on providence was erroneous, suspension according to Arts. 79-80 of the Church Order was not the proper way of addressing it.
      2. Classis erred in its judgment that Rev. Marcus’ proposed apology was not adequate.
      3. Nowhere in its grounds did Classis demonstrate that the statements of Rev. Marcus were explicitly contrary to the teachings of Scripture and the confessions.
      4. Classis erred in giving as a ground for suspension that “such a suspension would give the consistory time to do an investigation into the extent of his teaching in the congregation, especially with regard to the instruction of the catechism students.”
      5. Classis erred in giving as a ground for suspension that Rev. Marcus “cannot labor effectively in the congregation with a cloud of suspicion hanging over his orthodoxy.”
      6. Classis erred in giving as a ground of suspension that certain statements of Rev. Marcus were “suspicious,” which statements are not inherently wrong.

Classis made apology to First Edmonton consistory and to Rev. Marcus for the advice given in March. Classis will continue to address matters that pertain to this case when they reconvene on Tuesday, November 5. Please remember the Classis in your prayers as they take up this important work again in a month.

The expenses of this part of the meeting totaled $12,447.28.

Rev. Joshua Engelsma, Stated Clerk, Classis West

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

News Report of Classis West of the PRCA, Meeting November 5, 2019

Classis West of the Protestant Reformed Churches met in a reconvened session on November 5, 2019, in Calvary PRC (Hull, IA). Rev. Ryan Barnhill again chaired the meeting. The reconvened session was due to the fact that Classis was not able to finish its agenda in September and more time was needed by a committee of pre-advice to prepare its advice.

Classis had before it a request from a consistory for the concurrence of Classis in deposing its minister according to Arts. 79-80 of the Church Order for his teachings on providence and sanctification, and an appeal of the consistory’s decision to do so. Classis sustained the appeal and declared that the consistory erred in seeking the deposition of its minister.

Classis also took a decision to advise the consistory to lift the suspension of its minister with regards to his teaching on providence, since Classis had already judged in September that suspension was not the proper way to address the minister’s error, that the minister demonstrated he understood the error and was repentant of it, and that the minister’s submitted confession on providence is orthodox.

Classis also advised the consistory to lift the suspension of the minister with regards to his teaching on sanctification. Classis judged that in some instances the consistory had wrongly charged the minister with error. In addition, Classis judged that, although the consistory rightly identified erroneous statements made by the minister, suspension was not the proper way to address the matter. Classis stated that, in order to suspend a man for teaching false doctrine or heresy, it must be demonstrated that a man’s teaching is characterized by consciousness and deliberateness as well as persistence after having been admonished, which was not true of the minister.

The March 2019 meeting of Classis had appointed a special committee to assist the consistory as they worked through these matters, and the committee reported to this Classis on its labors over the last months. Classis acknowledged the work of the committee in implementing its decisions from March, although Classis has now declared those decisions to be in error. Classis also noted several aspects of the special committee’s labors that it did not approve. Classis appointed a new special committee to assist the pastor, consistory, and congregation, should the consistory request such help.

Classis also treated an appeal against the consistory’s initial suspension of the minister without seeking the advice of a neighboring consistory. The consistory believed that the advice of the March Classis to suspend served in the place of a neighboring consistory’s concurrence. The appellant argued this was not proper. Classis upheld the appeal, citing the plain reading of Art. 79 as well as the fact that the concurrence of another body is required after the decision of the consistory to suspend, not before.

The expenses of this part of the meeting totaled $11,965.97.

Classis will meet next in Peace PRC (Dyer, IN) on March 4, 2020, the Lord willing.

Rev. Joshua Engelsma, Stated Clerk, Classis West

This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, September 22-28, 2019 *(Updated)

Ps 147 5 6On this thirty-eighth Lord's Day of 2019, September 22, the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields may be noted.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "Here is encouragement to prayer. There is no cause for fearing that the petitions of the righteous will not be heard, or that their sighs and tears shall escape the notice of God, since He knows the thoughts and intents of the heart. There is no danger of the individual saint being overlooked amidst the multitude of supplicants who daily and hourly present their various petitions, for an infinite Mind is as capable of paying the same attention to millions as if only one individual were seeking its attention." The Attributes of God; Arthur W Pink

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • This week Friday (Sept.27) pastor-elect Jacob Maatman will be ordained into the ministry of the Word and sacraments in the PRC and installed as Southeast PRC's new pastor. Concerning this, SE-PRC has this note in her bulletin today: " "The Consistory calls the congregation to a special worship service this coming Friday, September 27, 7:00pm, to be held at Southwest Protestant Reformed Church. The occasion, the Lord willing, is the ordination of our new Pastor-elect Jacob Maatman into the ministry of the holy gospel and sacraments. Prof. David Engelsma is scheduled to lead our worship service. Refreshments are being planned for after the service." In addition, there is this note about his first service: "The inaugural service led by Pastor-elect Maatman is scheduled for next Sunday evening, September 29. The program committee is planning a small welcome program to follow the service, with dinner served afterward in the hallway. Please plan to come and stay for this joyful event, as we welcome Pastor-elect Maatman, Rachel, and their children into our congregational life and fellowship."

  • On September 1 Cand. M. Kortus accepted the call to Hope PRC (Redlands, CA, received July 21). Lord willing, he will be examined at the meeting of Classis West ths week (Sept.25) in Calvary PRC (Hull, IA), with his specimen sermon delivered the night before at a special worship service in Calvary PRC. May the Lord strengthen and sustain this brother as he prepares for his examination.

  • The Consistory of Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) has announced a new trio from which to call a pastor: Rev. R. Barnhill (Peace), Rev. S. Key (Loveland), and Rev. R. Kleyn (Spokane). The congregational meeting is scheduled for today after the afternoon service. *Update: Rev. R. Kleyn has received this call.

  • The Council of Grandville PRC announces a new trio for calling a minister on loan to labor in Covenant ERC in Singapore: "Revs. Garrett Eriks (Hudsonville PRC), Rodney Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC) and Jon Mahtani (Cornerstone PRC). The congregational meeting is scheduled for Oct 6 following the evening service."

  • Prof. R. Cammenga and Rev. D. Overway are leading the worship services of Southeast PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) today. Her pastor-elect, J. Maatman, will be ordained and installed this Friday evening Sept.27 (see note above). The congregation is currently worshiping at Adams Christian School in Wyoming, MI, while she looks for a new location.
  • Rev. T. Miersma is leading the worship services at Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) this week and next.
  • Rev. A. Spriensma (PRC home missionary) is supplying the pulpit of Hope PRC Redlands again this Sunday.
  • Georgetown PRC is celebrating her 25th anniversary this year. This note is found in her bulletin about that upcoming celebration: "25th Anniversary and Church Picnic is planned for Saturday, October 26.  Join us for breakfast at Heritage Christian School! Our theme is, “Thanking God For Our Treasured Heritage”. The following Sunday, we will have special sermons by Rev. R. VanOverloop for our morning service and Rev. Haak for our evening service on Psalm 16: 5,6 and 8,9. Please plan to attend as we have so much to be thankful for!"

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

Calvary Hull 2019

*Calvary PRC (Hull, IA), host of this week's meeting of Classis West.

Classis West: Classis West will meet this week at Calvary PRC in Hull, IA. The meeting will begin Tuesday evening with a worship service and sermon from Pastor-elect Kortus who has accepted a call to Hope PRC in Redlands, CA. Wednesday will be taken up, primarily, with Mr. Kortus’ oral examination. Classis will meet further into the week as it deals with nine protests against the decisions of the March classis as well as two appeals concerning the discipline and suspension of the minister of First PRC, Edmonton.

GEriks chapel sept 19
Rev. G. Eriks leading the Wednesday chapel at seminary this past week.

PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary is now entering its fifth week of the first semester in the new school year, and both faculty and students are busy with their work of teaching and studying. The first practice preaching session is only two weeks away, as Josiah T. and Marcus W. will deliver their first sermons of the new year. Pray for them and for the staff as they busy themselves in these kingdom labors. The schedule for the first semester has been posted on the seminary's website. If you are interested in visiting, please contact the seminary.

  • On Sept.4 Rev. B. Huizinga was installed as the new professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament Studies during a worship service at Grandville PRC. Prof. Huizinga has begun work on his advanced degree (ThM) at Calvin Theological Seminary while also taking some classes at Puritan Refomred Seminary.

  • Our other new professor, Douglas Kuiper, has begun giving instruction for the first time this semester, starting with the pre-seminary Greek grammar course, as well as Hermeneutics and a new Research and Methodology course.

  • Looking for some good Reformed books to read, Bible study materials or seminary publications to use? Come and visit the seminary's bookstore! We have a variety of Bibles, commentaries, and good books - used and new - for our members and friends.

  • Need for Ministers: Synod 2019 took a decision to place the urgent need for seminary students before our churches. Nine of our 39 active ministers are 63 years of age and older. The next prospect for seminary graduates in our churches is not for another four years. Then those nine ministers will be 67 and older. Please remember in your prayers to petition the Lord of the harvest for pastors, and please encourage young men, whom you observe to have the gifts, to consider the ministry.

  • The finishing touches are being put on the seminary addition and library renovation projects (new archives and offices). A new glass barrier, granite in the main window, and some more furniture is due in the library yet, but the first shipment is in place (see photo on seminary news page). In the archives room all is ready for the special flooring and shelving, which is scheduled for this week. Please fell free to stop by and see the new look - it is truly beautiful!
  • Be sure to visit the new PRC seminary website! Visit the site and check out the various pages, including the new blog - and sign up to receive seminary news by email! The library is also online there (under Resources). If you are looking for a particular book to read or use, or just want to browse, visit the library page.

EPC Winnaleah church outside
*Evangelical Presbyterian Church building in Winnaleah

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following:
    • The elders are leading the services again today. After that, Rev. A. denHartog will return, until late December. Concerning that, her bulletin today states: "In this coming week, let us pray for journey mercy for Rev Den Hartog and Sherry as they travel from the US to Singapore. They will be arriving... in the morning of Wednesday, 25 September. We thank God for the sister-church relationship with PRC and the abundant pulpit supply so that our souls may continuously be nourished through the preaching of the Word by His ordained minister."
    • Also, her bulletin has this fitting note concerning the calling of a new minister on loan: "In the coming weeks and months, let us pray that the Lord directs and gives wisdom to Grandville PRC in forming a trio and in voting for the minister to call as MOL to Singapore. Pray that the Lord strengthen our hearts as we wait patiently upon Him to send us the MOL according to His appointed time and according to His will." Grandville's Council has annnounced this trio, from which the congregation will call on Oct.6: Revs. Garrett Eriks (Hudsonville PRC), Rodney Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC) and Jon Mahtani (Cornerstone PRC).
    • Her latest newsletter (August 2019) - Reformed News Asia - was posted recently posted and may be found on this page.
  • Concerning our newest sister, the PRC in the Philippines, we may note the following from the bulletins of the Berean PRC, PRC in Bulacan, Maranatha PRC, and Provident CC:
    • Maranatha PRC: Rev. R. Smit will lead the services today and teach on "Sanctification and Good Works" from Art.24 of the Belgic Confession.
    • Provident CC: "Rev. Kleyn will preach both times for PPRC today. Rev. Holstege will teach Lord’s Day 8 and preach Lord’s Day 21 for the BLCC in Guiguinto. In the afternoon, he will teach the Church Order class. Bro. Mitch will accompany him. Next Sunday, Lord willing, Rev. Holstege will preach for PPRC."
    • And for more on the life and work of our "sisters" in the Far East read the news under Philippine missions (bulletins).
  • *The PRC also has a "corresponding relationship" with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) of Australia. We remember these brothers and sisters in our prayers and labors also.

ReformedBookOutlet
Looking for a study Bible or Bible study resources this Fall? Visit the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville!

From the RBO Fall newsletter: September 25% off Sale! 25% off most Bibles, books, and Bible covers! Stop in and check out the clearance table, where items are available for $2 and restocked with different books each month!

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • If you are in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing, visit the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.

  • Do you have an interest in good Reformed literature and a solid Reformed and biblical magazine? Visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association's website (www.rfpa.org), where you will find information on books in all major Christian categories, as well as on the bi-monthly periodical, the Standard Bearer.

  • You can now listen to the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dordt on audio! Visit the links provided to hear the Catechism, the Confession, and the Canons. It's another excellent way to learn the Reformed faith and memorize these Reformed creeds.

RWH Logo 2019

  • Remember to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are!
    • For the rest of September we feature some "classics" of Rev. C.Haak. Today's message is "Spiritual Lethargy" based on Song of Solomon 5 (or visit the RWH website linked here to listen anytime).
    • From the Reformed Witness Hour Committee: Have you checked out our newsletters? If you would like to receive them digitally in your emailbox, please sign up for our bimonthly newsletter here: ehttp://epurl.com/gikNsL. Also, watch for a new flyer with RWH information to be sent out soon!

    • A new Spanish edition of the RWH has been produced and may be found on this YouTube channel (PRC Espanol). Why not check it out - and help spread the word!

 Psalms 119 103
Are you active in participating in your church's young people and young adult Bible study groups?

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

Reformed Free Church Negros Sept 2019
*Reformed Free Church in S. Negros where Rev. D. Kleyn recently led in worship and preached

PRC MISSION NEWS:

Domestic Labors:

  • Remember in prayer our home missionary, Rev. A. Spriensma, who continues to labor in the West Michigan area and beyond through Byron Center PRC, the calling church. From BC-PRC's bulletin today we find these notes:
    • Pastor Spriensma is filling the pulpit today for Hope PRC in Redlands. He will also be working with their evangelism committee.
  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. M. McGeown is preaching today and will lead the Bible study Tuesday 8 PM in Corbally.
    • The March 2019 newsletter of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship mission station was received and posted recently.

Philippine Missions:

  • *From the latest post of Mrs. Sharon Kleyn, we find this note about their recent trip to Sipalay:
    For many years now, the missionaries have been traveling to the city of Sipalay on the Island of Negros to hold classes with a number of pastors and elders in that area who are interested in the Reformed truth.  Now, with three missionaries present, they are hoping to expand this work by going on the weekends and speaking/preaching/teaching in the churches there in addition to continuing the classes for the pastors and elders. 
    This past Saturday, September 14, Rev. Kleyn and I flew into Bacolod City and drove the 3-4 hour trip south to Sipalay.  Along the way we stopped to check in with two of the pastors, Pastor Rosal and Pastor Donasco.  They assured us that they were planning on us on the following day (Sunday), and specific times and arrangements were made.
    Sunday morning we left Sipalay around 8:15 for the half hour trip back north to the Reformed Free Church in Inayauan where Pastor Rosal is the pastor.  This church has already been following the order of worship we are used to and has used the Psalter for many years.  They also are organized with elders and deacons.
    Rev. Kleyn first led the adult Sunday School class, speaking, at their request, on Lord’s Day 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism.
     After the Sunday School class, Pastor Rosal (standing on the right) made a few announcements, and then the worship service began.  Rev. Kleyn led the whole service and preached on Unconditional Election from Deuteronomy 7:6-8.  There was much appreciation expressed for the sermon.  Because they came out of Arminianism and still have many friends and family in the Arminian churches, the doctrines of grace are very relevant for the members.  They love to hear of them and discuss the related issues and Bible verses.

  • The last Philippines mission newsletter was received and posted in July 2019 and may be found on this PRC webpage.
  • For more on life and activities in the Philippines from the personal perspective of the missionary's, visit the Kleyn's blog, the Holstege's, and the Smits!

Let us continue in prayer to the Lord for the fulfillment of the needs of these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace to be faithful and encouraged in all their labors.

India:

Myanmar:

  • Let us also remember Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) support of and involvement with Rev. Titus' work in Myanmar; for his latest report, visit this page.
Read more...

This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, September 15-21, 2019

grow in graceOn this thirty-seventh Lord's Day of 2019, September 15, the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields may be mentioned.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "In presenting this request that God’s will be done, we renounce the desires of our flesh because he who does not entirely resign his affections to God opposes the divine will, since everything which proceeds from us is vicious. By this prayer we are taught to deny ourselves that God may rule us according to his pleasure. And not only so, but having annihilated our own will may create new thoughts and new minds so that we shall have no desire save that of entire agreement with his will. In short, we wish nothing of ourselves, but to have our hearts governed by his Spirit, under whose inward teaching we may learn to love those things which please him and hate those things which displease him." (John Calvin)

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • This past week pastor-elect Jacob Maatman was examined at the meeting of Classis East at Southwest PRC. He successfully sustained his exam and Southeast PRC (who has called him) was instructed to proceed with his ordination and installation into the ministry of the Word. Concerning that, SE-PRC has this note in her bulletin today: " "With great joy Southeast PRC celebrates Pastor-elect Maatman's successful examination by Classis East and authorization to proceed with his ordination. His ordination and installation into the gospel ministry as the next pastor of Southeast PRC is scheduled for Friday evening, September 27, 7:00 pm, at Southwest Protestant Reformed Church. Prof. David Engelsma will officiate." 

  • On September 1 Cand. M. Kortus accepted the call to Hope PRC (Redlands, CA, received July 21). Lord willing, he will be examined at the meeting of Classis West on Sept.25 in Calvary PRC (Hull, IA), with his specimen sermon delivered the night before at a special worship service in Calvary PRC. May the Lord strengthen this brother as he prepares for his examination.

  • The Consistory of Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) has announced a new trio from which to call a pastor: "Rev. R. Barnhill (Peace), Rev. S. Key (Loveland), and Rev. R. Kleyn (Spokane). The congregational meeting is scheduled for Sunday, September 22nd after the afternoon service, D.V."

  • Prof. R. Cammenga and Prof. R. Dykstra are leading the worship services of Southeast PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) today. Her pastor-elect, J. Maatman, was examined at Classis East this week and approved for ordination, which is set for Sept.27 (see note above). The congregation is currently worshiping at Adams Christian School in Wyoming, MI, while she looks for a new location.
  • Rev. R. Kleyn is leading Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) in worship again today. Rev. R. Hanko is leading the services in Covenant of Grace (Spokane, WA).
  • Rev. A. Spriensma (PRC home missionary) is supplying the pulpit of Hope PRC Redlands for the next two weeks.
  • Georgetown PRC is celebrating her 25th anniversary this year. This note is found in her bulletin about that upcoming celebration: "25th Anniversary and Church Picnic is planned for Saturday, October 26.  Join us for breakfast at Heritage Christian School! Our theme is, “Thanking God For Our Treasured Heritage”. The following Sunday, we will have special sermons by Rev. R. VanOverloop for our morning service and Rev. Haak for our evening service on Psalm 16: 5,6 and 8,9. Please plan to attend as we have so much to be thankful for!"

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

JMaatman exam Sept 2019

*Pastor-elect J. Maatman being examined this past week at the Classis East meeting in Southwest PRC (Wyoming, MI).

Classis East: Classis East convened this past Wednesday and Thursday at Southwest PRCThe following is an unofficial summary of the actions and decisions: "Pastor-elect Jacob Maatman sustained his classical exam and Southeast PRC was advised to proceed to his ordination. Classis approved the organization of a new congregation (to be called Unity PRC). Approval was given for the emeritation of Rev. Michael DeVries effective January 1, 2020 after 41 years of faithful service at five PR congregations. Approval was given in a matter of discipline. In addition, classis treated six appeals and protests and one overture, adopted a pulpit supply schedule, and appointed a moderator for Kalamazoo PRC (Rev. D. Noorman)."

devotions DonerB Sept 2019
Sem. Doner Bartolon leading the daily mid-day devotions this past week.

PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary is now entering its fourth week of the first semester in the new school year. The schedule for the first semester has been posted on the seminary's website. If you are interested in visiting, please contact the seminary.

  • On Sept.4 Rev. B. Huizinga was installed as the new professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament Studies during a worship service at Grandville PRC. Prof. R. Cammenga, whom he will be replacing over the course of the next few years, preached a fitting sermon from Acts 27:23b, "Whose I am, and whom I serve." Prof. Huizinga has begun work on his advanced degree (ThM) at Calvin Theological Seminary.

  • Our other new professor, Douglas Kuiper, has begun giving instruction for the first time this semester, starting with the pre-seminary Greek grammar course, as well as Hermeneutics and a new Research and Methodology course. We thank the Lord for enabling him to reach this point in his career as professor. Over the course of the next few years he will also take over the church history courses and others from Prof. R. Dykstra.

  • This past Wednesday the seminarians were given the day off from their regular classes so that they could attend the meeting of Classis East "down the hill" at Southwest PRC. This also meant they witnessed the examination of 2019 graduate and pastor-elect Jacob Maaatman.

  • Looking for some good Reformed books to read, Bible study materials or seminary publications to use? Come and visit the seminary's bookstore! We have a variety of Bibles, commentaries, and good books - used and new - for our members and friends.

  • Need for Ministers: Synod 2019 took a decision to place the urgent need for seminary students before our churches. Nine of our 39 active ministers are 63 years of age and older. The next prospect for seminary graduates in our churches is not for another four years. Then those nine ministers will be 67 and older. Please remember in your prayers to petition the Lord of the harvest for pastors, and please encourage young men, whom you observe to have the gifts, to consider the ministry.

  • Work continues on the seminary addition and library renovation projects (new archives and offices). There are some finishing touches to be done in the library yet, including new furniture (first shipment arrived; second is due soon, plus some custom items are being made). In the archives room all is ready for the special flooring and shelving, which is scheduled for the week of Sept.23. Prof. Huizinga's office also received new furniture this week.
  • Be sure to visit the new PRC seminary website! Visit the site and check out the various pages, including the new blog - and sign up to receive seminary news by email! The library is also online there (under Resources). If you are looking for a particular book to read or use, or just want to browse, visit the library page.

new officebearers CERCS 2019
*Installation of new officebearers in Covenant ERC Singapore
(found in the August newsletter, Reformed News Asia)

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following:
    • The elders are leading the services today and next Sunday. After that, Rev. A. denHartog will return, until late December.
    • Her latest newsletter (August 2019) - Reformed News Asia - was posted recently posted and may be found on this page.
  • Concerning our newest sister, the PRC in the Philippines, we may note the following from the bulletins of the Berean PRC, PRC in Bulacan, Maranatha PRC, and Provident CC:
    • Berean PRC: Rev. V. Ibe will lead the worship services today.
    • And for more on the life and work of our "sisters" in the Far East read the news under Philippine missions (bulletins).
  • The PRC also has a "corresponding relationship" with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) of Australia. We remember these brothers and sisters in our prayers and labors also.

ReformedBookOutlet
Looking for a study Bible or Bible study resources this Fall? Visit the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville!

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • If you are in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing, visit the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.

  • Do you have an interest in good Reformed literature and a solid Reformed and biblical magazine? Visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association's website (www.rfpa.org), where you will find information on books in all major Christian categories, as well as on the bi-monthly periodical, the Standard Bearer.

  • You can now listen to the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dordt on audio! Visit the links provided to hear the Catechism, the Confession, and the Canons. It's another excellent way to learn the Reformed faith and memorize these Reformed creeds.

RWH Logo 2019

  • Remember to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are!
    • For the rest of September we feature some "classics" of Rev. C.Haak. Today's message is "Youth, Remember," based on Eccles.12:1 (or visit the RWH website linked here to listen anytime).
    • From the Reformed Witness Hour Committee: Have you checked out our newsletters? If you would like to receive them digitally in your emailbox, please sign up for our bimonthly newsletter here: ehttp://epurl.com/gikNsL.

    • A new Spanish edition of the RWH has been produced and may be found on this YouTube channel (PRC Espanol). Why not check it out - and help spread the word!

 Ps71 5
Are you active in participating in your church's young people and young adult Bible study groups?

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

E S Singh CERCS 2017
*Pastor E. Singh, CERCS missionary in Kolkata, India

PRC MISSION NEWS:

Domestic Labors:

  • Remember in prayer our home missionary, Rev. A. Spriensma, who continues to labor in the West Michigan area and beyond through Byron Center PRC, the calling church. From BC-PRC's bulletin today we find these notes:
    • Pastor Spriensma is filling the pulpit today and next Sunday for Hope PRC in Redlands. He will also be working with their evangelism committee.
    • The Dorr Bible Study meets this Thursday, September 19, at 7:30 PM. Our discussion will begin at John 8:12. Join us at the Dorr library with your friends and neighbors to study God's Word.
  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. M. McGeown is preaching today and will lead the Bible study Tuesday 8 PM in Corbally.
    • The March 2019 newsletter of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship mission station was received and posted recently.

Philippine Missions:

  • PRC in Bulacan, (the calling church of the mission work in Albuera, Leyte) extended the call to Rev. Ibe (Berean PRC) to serve as missionary/pastor to this field. Rev. Ibe has accepted this call, which means that the PRCP will have its first missionary as a denomination. We rejoice with them in God's good provision of a man for this work. The installation of Rev. Ibe as Missionary/pastor is scheduled on November 17, 2019 at 3P.M. at PRC in Bulacan, the Lord willing.
  • The last Philippines mission newsletter was received and posted in July 2019 and may be found on this PRC webpage.
  • For more on life and activities in the Philippines from the personal perspective of the missionary's, visit the Kleyn's blog, the Holstege's, and the Smits!

Let us continue in prayer to the Lord for the fulfillment of the needs of these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace to be faithful and encouraged in all their labors.

India:

  • Let us remember to pray for the Lord's blessing on Georgetown PRC's labor in Vellore, India.
  • *And we remember our sister church's work (Covenant ERC in Singapore) in Kolkata, through Rev. E. Singh. From CERC's bulletin today we find this important note concerning this work: "We thank God for the safe arrival of Elders Tang and Leong in Kolkata. We greatly rejoice with the brothers and sisters in Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of India, Kolkata (CERCI) today as they witness the Confession of Faith, Adult and Infant Baptisms. It is indeed our great joy to see how God gathers His own in India through our humble work. Let us continue to remember this wonderful work God has given to do in prayers. Let us pray for CERCI as they work with us towards the institution of their Church. Pray for Reverend Emmanuel Singh that God may be pleased to bless his labours in CERCI; that God will continue to grant him zeal and grace to serve Him courageously and effectively in Kolkata. Remember also the needs of our brothers and sisters in CERCI."

Myanmar:

  • Let us also remember Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) support of and involvement with Rev. Titus' work in Myanmar; for his latest report, visit this page.
Read more...

Classis East News - Wednesday, Sept.11, 2019 *(Updated)

JMaatman exam sermon Sept 2019
Pastor-elect Jacob Maatman delivering his sermon before delegates of and visitors to classis at Southwest PRC (Wyoming, MI).

JMaatman exam Sept 2019
Pastor-elect J. Maatman being examined by Rev. C. Spronk in Soteriology.

Here is one unofficial summary of today's activities and decisions at the meeting of Classis East at Southwest PRC.

Classis met today at Southwest PRC and examined Pastor-elect Jacob Maatman as requested by Southeast PRC. His specimen sermon and examination went very well and Classis approved his examination. In the afternoon, Classis handled the request to form Unity PRC, daughter church of Byron Center PRC. This request was approved. The Emeritation of Rev. Michael DeVries was also approved. He was ordained in October of 1978 in the same room Classis was meeting in today. He served in our Southwest, First Edgerton [MN], First Edmonton [AB], Wingham [ON] and Kalamazoo churches. Classis recessed for the day to give time for the committees to work. Classis will reconvene on Thursday (9/12) at 8 AM. 

JMaatman exam decision Sept 2019

Pastor-elect J. Maatman and his wife Rachel receiving the news of classis' approval of his examination and instructions to Southeast PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) to proceed with his ordination and installation (from president of classis, Rev.H. Bleyenberg). That will take place, D.V., on Friday evening, Sept.27 in Southwest PRC.

We rejoice with Pastor-elect J. Maatman and his family and with Southeast PRC in this decisive step toward the ministry of the Word in our churches, and we thank God for His bountiful grace to the churches.

The following is the official public report of the stated clerk of Classis East:

Classis East of the Protestant Reformed Churches met on September 11 and 12 this year at Southwest PRC. This meeting was chaired by Rev. H. Bleyenberg.

Wednesday morning was filled with the examination of Candidate Jacob Maatman, Pastor-elect of Southeast PRC, Grand Rapids. He preached his specimen sermon on Mark 8: 34-35. The sermon critic committee stated it well, “Jacob demonstrated a good ability to expound and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to do so in such a way that a Protestant Reformed congregation would be edified. Jacob’s sermon was faithful and Reformed in the exposition of the text, well-grounded in the biblical and historical context, and included appropriate applications for all of us as God’s disciples.” This was unanimously adopted by the classis and received the concurrence of the synodical deputies.

Candidate Maatman then proceeded to his examination. Throughout he displayed knowledge of God’s Word, a love for the truth, and a willingness to live a life dedicated to service to God’s church. Classis unanimously approved his examination to which the attending synodical deputies concurred. Southeast PRC was advised to proceed to his ordination to the ministry of the Word and sacraments. That ordination took place on September 27, with Rev. Maatman’s grandfather, Professor David Engelsma, officiating.

Byron Center PRC came to Classis requesting approval for the organization of a daughter congregation, Unity Protestant Reformed Church in the Byron Center/Jamestown area. There are 139 confessing members and 90 non-confessing members that intend to become charter members. This was passed unanimously with the concurrence of the synodical deputies. Rev. A. Lanning was appointed as their Moderator. Pulpit supply for the evenings was granted by classis.

Kalamazoo PRC forwarded with their approval the request of Rev. M. DeVries for emeritation, effective January 1, 2020. Classis East approved this request with the concurrence of the synodical deputies. Rev. H. Bleyenberg expressed thanksgiving to our God for the faithful labors of Rev. DeVries. Rev. DeVries labored in the congregations of Southwest, First Edgerton, First Edmonton, Wingham, and Kalamazoo over the course of 41 years. Kalamazoo PRC was also granted pulpit supply for the evening services in January 2020. Rev. D. Noorman was appointed Kalamazoo’s moderator.

In closed session, a consistory sought the advice of Classis to proceed to the second announcement of discipline according to Art. 77 of the Church Order. After hearing evidence of the impenitence of the individual and of the labors of the consistory, classis advised the consistory to proceed.

Thursday was dedicated to the treatment of several protests, appeals and an overture. One appeal was declared legally before classis; however, classis did not agree with the appellant that his consistory was required to respond to or prove wrong every ground or contention if they had already rescinded the decision being appealed. A protest was declared illegally before classis because the requirements of Art. 30 and 31 of the Church Order were not met. Another protest was declared illegal due to the fact classis at a previous meeting did not sustain the same charge, nor the brother’s subsequent protest of that decision. An appeal was sustained with regard to the consistory’s manner of dealing with a complaint and the consistory was advised to deal with the protest in without causing undue delay. Another appeal was judged not legal because Article 30 of the Church Order had not been met. A protest regarding a decision of the May meeting of Classis was not sustained. And classis declared an overture illegal because it did not satisfy Article 46 of the Church Order and it did not meet the definition of an overture in the “Explanation of the rules for Protests, Appeals, and Overtures.”

Classis approved the payment of this meeting’s expenses amounting to $2,859.39.

Zion PRC will host the January 8, 2020 meeting of Classis East.

Gary Boverhof, Stated Clerk

This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, September 8-14, 2019

1 Corinthians 2 16On this thirty-sixth Lord's Day of 2019, September 8, the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields may be mentioned.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • On Sept.1 Cand. J. Maatman accepted the call to Southeast PRC (Grand Rapids, MI, received July 21). Lord willing, he will be examined at the meeting of Classis East this week Wednesday, at Southwest PRC, which begins at 8 am. He will preach his specimen sermon before being examined by Classis (around 9 am). May the Lord sustain the brother as he submits to this examination, another step toward his ordination into the gospel ministry.

  • On September 1 Cand. M. Kortus accepted the call to Hope PRC (Redlands, CA, received July 21). Lord willing, he will be examined at the meeting of Classis West on Sept.25 in Calvary PRC (Hull, IA), with his specimen sermon delivered the night before at a special worship service in Calvary PRC. May the Lord strengthen this brother as he prepares for his examination.

  • Prof. R. Cammenga and Rev. G.Eriks are leading the worship services of Southeast PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) today. Her pastor-elect, J. Maatman, will be examined at Classis East this week. The congregation is currently worshiping at Adams Christian School in Wyoming, MI, while she looks for a new location.
  • Rev. R. Kleyn is leading Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) in worship today and next week.
  • Rev. J. Langerak (Heritage PRC) is supplying the pulpit of Hope PRC Redlands again today.

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

SouthwestPRC

*Southwest PRC, host of Classis East meeting this week.

Classis East: Classis East will convene Wednesday at 8:00 am at Southwest PRC. The agenda includes the specimen sermon and examination of Candidate Jacob Maatman, the proposed organization of a new congregation (Unity PRC, Byron Center, MI), as well as many other weighty matters. With the lengthy agenda, classis will likely meet for two days or more. May the King of the church strengthen and sustain pastor-elect J. Maatman for his examination and the delegates for all their work.

BHuizinga install Sept6 2019 1
*Rev. B.Huizinga answering the questions of the Form during his installation as professor of theology this past week.

PRC Synod 2019:

  • *On June 30 Rev. Brian Huizinga (Hope PRC, Redlands, CA) accepted Synod 2019's call to serve as Professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament (replacing Prof. R. Cammenga within five years). His installation as professor of theology was held on Wednesday Sept.4 during a divine worship service at Grandville PRC (7 pm).
  • Need for Ministers: Synod 2019 took a decision to place the urgent need for seminary students before our churches. Nine of our 39 active ministers are 63 years of age and older. The next prospect for seminary graduates in our churches is not for another four years. Then those nine ministers will be 67 and older. Please remember in your prayers to petition the Lord of the harvest for pastors, and please encourage young men, whom you observe to have the gifts, to consider the ministry.

R M Sept 2019 1
Prof. D. Kuiper teaching his new research and methodology course.

PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary is now entering its third week of the first semester in the new school year. The schedule for the first semester has been posted on the seminary's website. If you are interested in visiting, please contact the seminary.

  • This past Wednesday night (Sept.4) was a special evening as Rev. B. Huizinga was installed as the new professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament Studies during a worship service at Grandville PRC. Prof. R. Cammenga, whom he will be replacing over the course of the next few years, preached a wonderful sermon from Acts 27:23b, "Whose I am, and whom I serve." Prof. Huizinga has begun work on his advanced degree (ThM) at Calvin Theological Seminary.

  • Our other new professor, Douglas Kuiper, has begun teaching for the first time this semester (see photo below), starting with the pre-seminary Greek grammar course, as well as Hermeneutics and a new Research and Methodology course. We thank the Lord for enabling him to reach this point in his career as professor. Over the course of the next few years he will also take over the church history courses and others from Prof. R. Dykstra.

  • Our two 2019 graduates, Matt Kortus and Jacob Maatman, sustained their synodical examinations at the PRC 2019 Synod (June 11-13) and were declared candidates for the ministry of the Word and sacraments in the PRC. Both have now received and accepted calls from vacant congregations - Cand. Kortus to Hope PRC (Redlands, CA) and Cand. Maatman to Southeast PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) - and will be examined at the meetings of Classis West and East respectively in the next month. We praise God for this evidence of the confirmation of the Lord's call.

  • Work continues on the seminary addition and library renovation projects (new archives and offices). There are some finishing touches to be done in the library yet, including new furniture. In the archives room all is ready for the special flooring and shelving, which should some later this month. Prof. Huizinga's office also awaits new furniture, which is due this week.
  • Be sure to visit the new PRC seminary website! Visit the site and check out the various pages, including the new blog - and sign up to receive seminary news by email! The library is also online there (under Resources). If you are looking for a particular book to read or use, or just want to browse, visit the library page.

CPRC NI building
*Read Covenant PRC's latest newsletter

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following:
    • Rev. L. Trinidad is scheduled to supply preaching and teaching to the CERC today (Sept.8). After that, Rev. A. denHartog will return. From her bulletin today we find this special note: "This morning we welcome Rev Trinidad to our pulpit, bringing God's word to us and administering the Lord's Supper. The Lord is good, for his mercy endureth forever. We extend our thanks to Maranatha PRCP for allowing Rev Trinidad to come to Singapore to serve His people here. May we show our appreciation with our Christian love and extend our fellowship to him over the next few days."
    • Her latest newsletter (August 2019) - Reformed News Asia - was posted recently posted and may be found on this page.
  • Concerning our newest sister, the PRC in the Philippines, we may note the following from the bulletins of the Berean PRC, PRC in Bulacan, Maranatha PRC, and Provident CC:
    • Berean PRC: Rev. V. Ibe will lead the worship services today.
    • Maranatha PRC: Rev. R. Smit is leading both services today. He will also teach out of the Belgic Confession.
    • Provident CC: Today the elders will lead both services using video sermons of Prof. Brian Huizinga.
    • Missions: Let us uphold Rev. Ibe and his family in our prayers as they prepare to move and begin mission work with the saints in PRFA, Albuera, Leyte. The installation of Rev. Ibe as Missionary/pastor is scheduled on November 17, 2019 at 3P.M. at PRC in Bulacan, the Lord willing.
    • And for more on the life and work of our "sisters" in the Far East read the news under Philippine missions (bulletins).
  • *The PRC also has a "corresponding relationship" with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) of Australia. We remember these brothers and sisters in our prayers and labors also.

Defense Temporary Offices TMiersma Page 1
Do the special offices and gifts of the Holy Spirit still continue? Read this helpful resource to find the answer!

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • If you are in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing, visit the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.

  • Do you have an interest in good Reformed literature and a solid Reformed and biblical magazine? Visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association's website (www.rfpa.org), where you will find information on books in all major Christian categories, as well as on the bi-monthly periodical, the Standard Bearer.

  • You can now listen to the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dordt on audio! Visit the links provided to hear the Catechism, the Confession, and the Canons. It's another excellent way to learn the Reformed faith and memorize these Reformed creeds.

RWH Logo 2019

  • Remember to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are!
    • This week we return to Rev. C. Griess' series on the Five Points of Calvinism in connection with the 400th anniversary of the Canons of Dordt. His final message is "The Preservation of the Saints" based on John 10:27-29 (or visit the RWH website linked here to listen anytime).
    • From the Reformed Witness Hour Committee: Have you checked out our newsletters? If you would like to receive them digitally in your emailbox, please sign up for our bimonthly newsletter here: ehttp://epurl.com/gikNsL.

    • A new Spanish edition of the RWH has been produced and may be found on this YouTube channel (PRC Espanol). Why not check it out - and help spread the word!

 BL header lighthouse
Do you receive and read the Beacon Lights? Do you visit their website?

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • The 2019 PRYP's Convention is now history (held Aug.12-16 at Michindoh Conference Center in Hillsdale, MI.). Southwest and Providence PRCs hosted this years' event. For pictures and more visit this YouTube channel.

  • The latest young peoples' magazine of Covenant ERC in Singapore, Salt Shakers, was received and posted (August 2019 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.

Paulraj teaching 2019
*Pastor Paulraj teaching a Sola Gratia class in Vellore, India

PRC MISSION NEWS:

Domestic Labors:

  • Remember in prayer our home missionary, Rev. A. Spriensma, who continues to labor in the West Michigan area and beyond through Byron Center PRC, the calling church.
  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. M. McGeown is preaching today and will lead the Bible study Tuesday 8 PM in Corbally.
    • The March 2019 newsletter of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship mission station was received and posted recently.

Philippine Missions:

  • PRC in Bulacan, (the calling church of the mission work in Albuera, Leyte) extended the call to Rev. Ibe (Berean PRC) to serve as missionary/pastor to this field. Rev. Ibe has accepted this call, which means that the PRCP will have its first missionary as a denomination. We rejoice with them in God's good provision of a man for this work. The installation of Rev. Ibe as Missionary/pastor is scheduled on November 17, 2019 at 3P.M. at PRC in Bulacan, the Lord willing.
  • The last Philippines mission newsletter was received and posted in July 2019 and may be found on this PRC webpage.
  • For more on life and activities in the Philippines from the personal perspective of the missionary's, visit the Kleyn's blog, the Holstege's, and the Smits!

Let us continue in prayer to the Lord for the fulfillment of the needs of these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace to be faithful and encouraged in all their labors.

India:

  • *Let us remember to pray for the Lord's blessing on Georgetown PRC's labor in Vellore, India.
  • And we remember our sister church's work (Covenant ERC in Singapore) in Kolkata, through Rev. E. Singh. From CERC's bulletin today we find this important note concerning this work: "This coming Friday, Elders Leong and Tang will be in Kolkata to assist Rev Singh in Baptisms and Confession of Faith (COF). We will witness 6 adult and 2 infant baptisms and 1 adult COF, the Lord willing. We give thanks to God for His faithfulness in seeking out his elect children and bringing them out of darkness into His marvellous light. May Jehovah God watch over them and strengthen them in their faith to trust in the only true and wise God, in the country where they may face persecutions and trials."

Myanmar:

  • Let us also remember Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) support of and involvement with Rev. Titus' work in Myanmar; for his latest report, visit this page.
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Contact/Missions

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Classical Officers

Classis East
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Classis West
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